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Patriotic Article
Noble Efforts
By Sarah Britt

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Ultimate Irony: Saddam's Coins Support U.S. Troops
(December 2, 2008)

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In the spring of 2003, US and British coalition soldiers in Iraq were called upon to secure the banks in Basra, Iraq from looters. The soldiers found three forms of currency in the banks: 1) US currency that was ultimately used to inject into the Iraqi economy, 2) Iraqi paper currency that was burned, and 3) Iraqi coins that were melted down for scrap metal content....with one exception.

A group of British soldiers led by Captain Chris McGinley & Reservist Robert Brannagan found roughly 70,000 pounds of brilliant un-circulated Iraqi coins that were decommissioned by Saddam Hussein at the end of the first Gulf War. Captain McGinley and his men came up with a brilliant idea, and obtained all permissions necessary to auction off those coins in London and use the proceeds to rebuild an orphanage in Basra (pictured above left) that had been destroyed during Saddam's reign of terror. Saddam's coins were sold, the orphanage in Basra was rebuilt, and the miraculous story of the coins was only just beginning....

In late 2004, through an unbelievable string of connections and coincidences that can only be described as divine intervention; the Products for Good team was offered the opportunity to purchase the entire collection of Saddam's coins. The team immediately acted on the opportunity and developed a plan around utilizing these coins in accordance with Captain McGinely's original intent....selling what had at one time been Saddam's property to create good works for as many people as possible.

A product line was designed that would display the coins in a patriotic and high quality fashion. Using the coins themselves, in a beautifully designed frame, surrounded by pictures, memorabilia and quotes that honor and reflect the sacrifices made by our military to protect our freedoms.

The four coin shadowbox and the Products for Good story have been featured on several television shows and a nationally syndicated morning radio show. Most impressive of all, the picture on the website  shows John Borders, a wounded veteran and Products for Good financial beneficiary, presenting President Bush with a shadowbox. That shadowbox now hangs in the White House and President Bush has assured us that it will be a permanent fixture in the Bush library!

In keeping with the mission to help as many Americans as possible with this project (and in lieu of less expensive foreign assembly), Products for Good chose to assemble the shadowboxes at the Cleveland Vocational Industries (CVI). CVI is a facility which provides work opportunities for mentally and physically challenged individuals with barriers to entry into the traditional workforce. The workers at CVI take tremendous pride in making a contribution and great self-satisfaction from being able to provide for themselves (pictured at left). Products for Good is excited and privileged to have CVI participating in the project and is thrilled to be able to create up to one hundred and fifty full-time jobs at peak production. 

The last piece of the puzzle was to find a national spokesperson to represent the project in the best way possible and Products for Good was excited to land Lee Greenwood for the role. Lee has been committed to the project from the beginning and has even permitted Products for Good to use God Bless the USA for the first time in history to support a commercial venture.

With the shadowboxes in production and retail sales being generated, and Lee Greenwood on board, Products For Good put the last piece of the story in place . . . creating a plan to donate over $20 million to the families of our wounded heroes! A percentage of every dollar generated from the sale of these coins (before any expenses are paid) is sent immediately to charities such as the Aleethia Foundation, Tragedy Assistance Project for Survivors (TAPS), Helping a Hero and The Gerald T. Parks Memorial Foundation. Products for Good has been fortunate to see its donation money at work, and the help it has provided to those in need. Monies donated so far have been utilized to help families of wounded warriors keep their homes through difficult times, build new homes for permanently injured soldiers so their handicap will not diminish their ability to live comfortably, and to help build a nursing home facility on a VA hospital property...just to name a few.

Own a piece of history and help us raise funds for our wounded and fallen heroes and their families!  Visit our website today.  God Bless you and thank  you for taking the time to visit us.

By Sarah Britt
Products For Good
Copyright 2008

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